Warning – Security Lights

halogen light menace at a distanceRecently, my wife and I have had new neighbours taking residence in a house some 200 yards (182 metres) directly behind us. Nice people, so no problem.

They had many alterations and additions to their property and now have a quality home. However, a problem arose due to a new security light situated on the rear face of their house. To say it was bright with its halogen lamp was perhaps the understatement of 2010!

When it is on, triggered by foxes (which abound round here), it illuminates our bedroom – such that you wake up frequently! On one occasion in the dead of night, I ventured out and looked at the back of our home. When the security light came on, not only did it illuminate the back of the house, but I seriously thought about cutting the lawn while I was out there!

Luckily, the aviary faces away from that light source, but the garden is nevertheless lit really well and I am now certain that some hens come off the nest and cannot see their way back when the light eventually goes out.

So, my thoughts went back to my own security light that I had installed some years ago on my seed store, which is halfway down our plot. This was to assist visitors who came in an evening to see their way to and from the aviary.

As it turned out, the same triggering of the light by foxes took place and I was losing chicks in some numbers – all dead in this or that nest – until I realised the problem was a change in their environment. So out came the plug and it has never been on since.

seed store security lights now offVisitors now grope their way again through the garden if they come late in the evening. I don’t mind waking up periodically, nor do I mind feeling my way to and back from the aviary, but really it is a question of priorities – so out went my light – permanently!

We all recall the advice about car lights flashing on aviaries at night, but this Halogen security light factor, while not new in themselves, is certainly worth remembering for all members of the hobby.

It may be anything that causes the lights to trigger – foxes, the local cat on patrol, your dog having a stroll from his kennel and so on. You may be totally unaware that a series of unaccountable tragedies in the birdroom could be the result of a security light. Be warned!

I have now had a polite chat to my new neighbours. Problem solved.

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About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

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